This is a simple post, but sometimes, we need simple reminders of the greatness of our God to overcome our complex emotions.
The other night in prayer, I was thinking about and praying for our nation in the face of whatever may come in the next few weeks. Emotions have been high for many Americans as the presidential inauguration is scheduled for next week. We well know that God raises up kings (and other leaders) and takes them down. We can rest assured that His Will is what’s best for us, even when we may not like the immediate outcome in the natural.
So, what is our path forward in the face of adversity?
When I was sitting and praying about these things, I believe God led me to Daniel chapter 6 and reminded me of the single most important priority for any child of God no matter what may come our way—our relationship with Him.
(10) “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
(11) Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
(12) Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
(13) Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.”
~Daniel 6:10-13 (KJV)
In this chapter, corrupt leaders conspired against Daniel, who oversaw the financial affairs of the kingdom, to get him out of the way because he was an upright man. They manipulated King Darius to sign a decree saying that no one could present a petition to anyone, including God, except for the king for 30 days, knowing full well Daniel’s faithfulness to God. Now, Daniel knew that the king signed this decree, but instead of cowering, panicking, and following along with the corrupt leaders, he maintained his relationship with God. He remained faithful and prayed to God three times a day “as he did aforetime.”
In the face of evil, of darkness, of danger, and a threat to his life, Daniel remained faithful to God.
In the face of adversity, he continued to put God first.
His faithfulness got himself thrown into the lions’ den. Now, any one of us, if we went through that situation, may be thinking at that point, “God, whatchu doin’? Where you at? This ain’t looking good.” But Daniel didn’t doubt God, and as we see, God delivered him from the mouth of the lions.
(19) “Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
(20) And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
(21) Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
(22) My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
(23) Then was the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.”
~Daniel 6:19-23 (KJV)
No matter what kind of adversity comes our way, if we’re faithful to God, He will deliver us.
What we learn from Daniel’s experience in this chapter is that things always seem to be falling apart in the natural. Remember the three Hebrew boys from Daniel chapter three? Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego refused to worship to the golden image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and the king had them thrown into the fiery furnace. In the natural, things seemingly became much, much worse.
I certainly would rather not be thrown into a fiery furnace. I don’t think I’d be all that calm or chill with it, but maybe that’s just me.
In the natural, when we consider what we see with our flesh, we can often allow ourselves to become focused only on the storm and only on the bad, but we fail to see with the spirit. We fail to see that no matter how bad things may look in the natural, God is preparing a great work in the supernatural.
This great work then serves as a great witness to others of the greatness and glory of God. God delivering the three Hebrews from the fiery furnace impressed Nebuchadnezzar, and he blessed God, declared that no one could speak against God, and he promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (see Daniel 3:28-30). God delivering Daniel from the lions’ mouths impressed Darius, and he made a decree that gloried God as “the living God” whose “dominion shall be even unto the end” (see Daniel 6:26). Not only is our faithfulness to God a witness to others, but how God comes through for us is a testament to others.
God shows His Glory to the world when adversity comes.
Things always seem to get worse in the natural before they get better. Before God moves, before deliverance comes, and before God reveals His Glory, things seem to be falling apart.
But God is moving.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28 (KJV)
God was right there with the Hebrew boys when they were thrown into the fire. He was right there with Daniel when he was thrown into the lions’ den.
God is always with us. We just have to keep the faith, pray, and keep up our relationship with God.
No matter what may happen in the natural world, God is getting ready to do a mighty work for His people and for His Glory the likes of which the world has never seen.